(Image via https://twitter.com/Ravipowell26)
The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be on everyone’s lips in the New Year as attention turns to one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar and the world’s best sides travel to England and Wales to fight it out for the most prestigious trophy in the game of cricket.
It will be the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Test playing nations being present. The format will be a single group of ten teams, with each side playing the other nine sides, and the top four teams progressing to the knockout stages.
With the abundance of quality sure to be on show in the UK and a number of young stars looking to lay down their respective markers in the world game, below are a few rising talents to keep an eye out on in the lead up to the World Cup and during the competition itself.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – Afghanistan
At the tender age of just 17 years old, Ur Rahman is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in cricket currently and is expected to increase his stock further from 30 May to 14 July 2019, which is when the tournament is scheduled to take place. At the age of just 16 years and 325 days, the Afghan spinner became the youngest player to take a five-wicket haul in a One Day International match, eclipsing the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and team-mate Rashid Khan in doing so.
Just like the newly formed team he’s playing for, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is soaring to the top of the game and with conditions predicted to suit him in the UK, him and his Afghanistan team-mates could be the surprise package of the World Cup. Odds on them winning the competition at 100/1 (bet365) represents amazing value for a dangerous, relatively unknown quantity on the world stage, although reaching the knockout stages will surely be their main target.
Rovman Powell – West Indies
A player who is really expected to kick on in his career, Rovman Powell is someone the West Indies will be looking to up their levels in England and Wales as they aim to reign supreme and become the world’s best side. Having had a stop-start time in the last year or so and having really failed to deliver on a consistent basis, Powell hasn’t really lived up to his billing but the feeling amongst the cricket world is that he’s slowly but surely coming to the fore. At the age of 24, the all-rounder is approaching make or break time and expected to deliver in 2019, should he make the final squad of course.
As for the Windies themselves, odds on them winning the competition are currently priced at 20/1 (skybet) which is decent value for such a prestigious cricketing nation. A number of bookies offers are available too, making it all the more worthwhile when you place a bet.
Rishabh Pant – India
(Image via https://twitter.com/timesofindia)
Currently priced at 3/1 (bet365) to win the World Cup, Pant’s India are arguably the team to beat ahead of the competition. Alongside hosts England, priced at 5/2, and the always capable Australia at 5/1, India possess a huge amount of quality and tournament know-how.
Pant, who’s only 21, opened the batting for India at the 2016 Under 19 World Cup, where he registered a record-breaking half-century against Nepal in Bangladesh before notching a century against Namibia. Pant’s emergence is certainly worth monitoring in what promises to be an India side more than up for the challenge in 2019.